We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.ย Learn more.

Gear up and grip tightโ€”itโ€™s time to scale the peaks of adventure!

From the towering cliffs of Yosemite to the rugged Alps of Switzerland, letโ€™s explore the nations where rock climbing is a way of life.

Ready to see where vertical limits are pushed to the extreme?

Countries where rock climbing is most popular:

  1. United States
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Germany
  5. Spain
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland
  11. Austria

#1 United States

katsrcool, Rock Climbing-Moab, Utah, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Rock climbing in the United States is deeply interwoven with the nation’s vast and varied landscapes.

From the granite walls of Yosemite National Park to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, climbing has found an eager community amongst the country’s natural wonders. American climbers pursue the sport with a pioneering spirit, mirroring the diverse terrain and climbing styles available across the country.

#2 France

Arnaud Foucher, Presles – Sector Daladom – Marchand de saucisses 6c, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR

France is esteemed in the climbing world for its historic crags and cutting-edge sport climbing routes.

Areas like Fontainebleau, with its renowned bouldering, and the majestic limestone cliffs of Verdon Gorge have solidified Franceโ€™s standing. The French climbing culture emphasizes technique and has produced some of the world’s leading climbers, making it a hub for enthusiasts.

#3 Italy

Martin Gallon, Rock Climber Pinnacle, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 3.0

Italy’s rich climbing culture is fueled by its dramatic alpine landscapes, especially the legendary Dolomites.

Italian climbers have a storied history of alpinism and have embraced rock climbing, with areas like Arco attracting climbers globally. The country’s reverence for the mountains permeates its climbing scene, where respect for nature and a passion for vertical adventure prevails.

#4 Germany

AlmaKlettern im Steinbruch Rochlitz, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.5

Germany’s climbing scene thrives, supported by substantial indoor facilities and prominent outdoor climbing areas like the Elbsandstone Mountains.

German climbers value not only the physical aspect but also the sport’s intellectual challenge. With a comprehensive climbing federation and numerous climbing clubs, it remains a popular and well-organized pursuit within the nation.

#5 Spain

N McQ, Al, Margalef, Spain, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Spain is renowned for its diverse rock climbing opportunities, boasting some of the best climbing spots in Europe such as Siurana, Margalef, and El Chorro. These areas offer a variety of climbing from sport routes to bouldering.

Spain’s mild climate allows for year-round climbing, which attracts climbers from all over the world. The country’s vibrant climbing culture is supported by numerous climbing schools and guides that offer training and expeditions for climbers of all levels.

#6 United Kingdom

Masa Sakano, Traditional rock climbing in the Peak District, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

The United Kingdom has a rich tradition in rock climbing, particularly noted for its challenging traditional (trad) climbing routes.

Iconic climbing areas like the Peak District, Lake District, and Wales’ Snowdonia offer diverse climbing experiences from single-pitch scrambles to multi-pitch epics. The UK’s climbing scene is very active, with a strong focus on preserving climbing ethics and fostering a community that values safety and environmental responsibility.

#7 Canada

Ruth Hartnup from Vancouver, Canada, Climbers at Burgers & Fries, Smoke Bluffs (5818819446), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Rock climbing in Canada thrives amidst its vast wilderness and renowned national parks. Areas like Squamish in British Columbia, and the Canadian Rockies, offer climbers a range of experiences from bouldering to big wall ascents.

Canada’s diverse landscapes provide a stunning backdrop, attracting climbers from around the globe and fostering a robust climbing community devoted to the sport’s growth and accessibility.

#8 Australia

KgboRock climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Australia, 2020, 01, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Australia’s rock climbing scene is enlivened by its unique and diverse rock formations, including the iconic Grampians and the rugged Blue Mountains. The country’s temperate climate allows for year-round climbing, appealing to enthusiasts of all levels.

Homegrown climbing festivals and a strong focus on outdoor sports in Australian culture further cement the sport’s popularity, making it a staple in Australia’s adventurous lifestyle.

#9 Japan

Raita Futo from Tokyo, Japan, Yatsugatake rock climbing (53108798383), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

In Japan, rock climbing has surged in popularity, bolstered by the country’s mountainous terrain and the proliferation of climbing gyms in urban areas. Places like Ogawayama and the striking sea cliffs of Jogasaki offer climbers both traditional and sport climbing challenges.

Japan’s hosting of the Olympics, which included climbing, has increased national interest, inspiring a new generation of climbers to embrace the sport.

#10 Switzerland

Georg Dembowski2006-04-08 Klettern Eulenwand R5, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 3.0

Switzerland is a paradise for climbers, featuring some of the most iconic alpine climbing routes in the world, including those in the Alps around Zermatt and the Eiger.

Besides high alpine routes, Switzerland also offers a wealth of sport climbing and bouldering opportunities. The country’s alpine schools and guides are world-renowned for their climbing instruction and mountaineering expertise, making Switzerland a top destination for climbers seeking challenging adventures.

#11 Austria

gego2605Climbing in St. Lorenz – Wachau, Austria, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

Austria offers a spectacular array of climbing opportunities, ranging from alpine ascents in the Alps to sport climbing routes in areas like Zillertal and Arlberg. Austrian climbing culture is deeply embedded in its alpine tradition, with a strong emphasis on safety and technique.

The country hosts numerous climbing festivals and competitions, and local climbing clubs are active in promoting the sport and teaching new climbers. Austria’s well-maintained routes and climbing facilities make it an excellent destination for climbers of all skill levels.


Which country is Rock Climbing played the most?

Rock Climbing is played the most in the United States, a hub for both outdoor and indoor climbing with a significant number of enthusiasts and professional climbers.

Which country watches Rock Climbing the most?

The United States watches Rock Climbing the most, having a substantial climbing community and widespread media coverage, especially with climbing’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.

Where was Rock Climbing originally played?

Rock Climbing was originally played in various parts of Europe. For more details, review our Rock Climbing history article, which explores its early development and how it evolved into a competitive sport.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When heโ€™s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments